Nutella and Chesterfields by Jennifer Ellis
A few weeks after we arrived in Toronto, my dad got a job as a driver for a hardware company and my sister Becky started grade ten at Winston Churchill Collegiate. I didn’t know what a Collegiate was but I guessed it meant high school.
I wasn’t allowed to go to school. Not yet, anyway. We were waiting for my school authorization to come through. Becky was born in Toronto. Almost three years later, my parents—then living in L.A.—had me.
After my mom died I was the only one in our family who was a native U.S. citizen. I proudly hung the American flag Grandpa gave me on my bedroom door, and I would stare at the stars and stripes, wishing it to be a magic portal like in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Only instead of Narnia I would go to the AMC 10 theatres at the Golden Mall in Burbank and get in line to see Back to the Future III. I’d decide that I would get Twizzlers and use one to replace the straw in my soda cup, like Becky’s friend Hilary did when we went to go see Pet Cemetery—the movie that has since haunted my dreams. (Grab a box of Depends and Google Zelda Pet Cemetery and you will see why.)
So, even though I may have resembled Lucy from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, clearly I wasn’t in a C.S Lewis novel. I was stuck in this real-life trap. And I was gifted the benefit of hanging out with my grandpa until Becky returned home from school.
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Get a little more of Jennifer’s story by reading the story of her arrival in Canada